King Biscuit Flower Hour (In Concert)

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Considering the sheer popularity of the original four-piece 10cc, surprisingly little extracurricular material has crept out of the vaults. The BBC still sits on a pair of 1974 radio sessions, while VHS and DVD collections routinely ignore the band's many television performances (including a brilliant 1974 In Concert performance). The earliest non-studio recording to have actually made it onto the shelves, then, was their November 1975 King Biscuit Flour Hour performance, a set that has since been reissued under a bewildering variety of titles, including this strikingly misdated effort.

The error is understandable. For whatever reason, the original KBFH release highlighted only material from the group's first two albums; The Original Soundtrack, which was what they were actually promoting at the time, is altogether absent from the set! Don't be misled, then, and you won't be disappointed. This is a tremendous release, alive with all the charm, energy, invention, and eccentricity that ranked among the band's greatest attributes, together with a one-stop guide to 10cc's early greatest hits and bits. The boogie-licious "Rubber Bullets" is almost worth the price of admission alone, but you won't want to miss the gizmo-led "Old Wild Men," a moody "Somewhere in Hollywood," and even an hysterical "Donna." 10cc's reputation is often said to be built upon the perfection of their studio recordings, and that is true. But they were a sensational live act as well, and here's the proof.

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